That mythic piece of legendary folklore may actually turn out to have some truth to it; sometimes it's how we envision things and our generalizations that limit our perception.  Perhaps the secret has been right in front of our eyes, hiding in plain sight.  Perhaps the fabled fountain isn’t so much a fountain, but more of a handheld version- a drink.  Known by such names as the “Tea of Immortality”, there has been a sparkling, effervescent drink that indeed has its place in history, one that has been touted to have miraculous powers of healing and balance.  It has been used as a life-giving elixir to kings and emperors, offering the chance of eternal life to those deemed worthy.  Samurai warriors used to keep KT cultures in field flasks, regularly topping them up with fresh tea and sugar. Taken as a potion to balance out the life forces or Chi, this ancient beverage has been put on a pedestal and may well deserve its place there.  Take note to understand the many benefits of Kombucha Tea and its natural, synergistic relationships. 

 

Kombucha is often referred to as a living health drink, although some naturalists consider Kombucha to be more of a food than an actual beverage.  Regardless of what you decide it to be, this twinkling, lightly fizzy infusion built from fermenting tea and sugar with a Kombucha culture has its history originating in earliest record in 414 B.C. in Korea.  The Chinese culture had their first recorded uses in 221 BC during the Tsin Dynasty.  The culture itself is a biological powerhouse and resembles a beige or white pancake and is called a SCOBY, or Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeasts.  It wasn’t until 415 AD in Japan that the name Kombucha actually was born.  A Korean physician treated Emperor Inyko with this concoction and it took his name, Kombu or Kambu and “cha”, which means tea.

As it spread throughout the Eastern world, it became established as an effective folk remedy in numerous rural communities.  Russia saw a spike in the incidence of cancer in their country and sought to figure out the reason why.  Researchers studied every region of the country and discover that two areas in particular showed very little evidence of cancer.  Another baffling fact was that these people seem to be living longer, despite the fact that tobacco and alcohol consumption was higher there.  The researchers discovered that the people in those regions consumed large quantities of Kombucha Tea before episodes of drinking.

Some sources consider this to be the first in modern scientific evidence heralding the effects of Kombucha as a body detoxifier, adaptogen and immune system booster.  Visitors to Japan after World War I noticed that in areas of the country where Kombucha has been consumed for generations, it felt like they had walked into the Fountain of Youth.  There were very few signs of aging, the women remaining virtually unlined.  Years after World War II ended, interest in this food-like beverage re-emerged after Soviet doctors made numerous discoveries in communities all over that had somehow been protected from hazardous environmental pollutants.

Due to the growing lack of trace minerals in our depleted soils, the crops that are grown and the food that we eat are slowly losing their capacity to provide us with what our bodies need on a daily basis.  Combine this with the chemical sprays that are used on most of our foods, the convenience of fast foods, work schedules that take up more and more time, an unstable economy, and the modern world’s way of ensuring an ample food supply – the preservative – and you have a lifestyle cocktail rife with nutritiously devoid products and  increasing waistlines.  Especially in America we are getting fatter; but not in the nutritional content that nature intended- calories are not all created equal.

The enhanced, breathing beverage is chock full of vitamins (B vitamins, antioxidants), minerals (trace), enzymes (such as the ones that aid in digestion, and health-giving organic acids (which some are outlined below).  Now since most grocery stores have an organic section, this brew is easy to spot in its 12- 16 oz bottles and many flavor combinations or you can save yourself quite a bit of money by brewing your own!  The possibilities are only limited by you!  The benefits seen are those of increased stamina/energy, detoxifier, probiotics, improvements to skin, digestive, blood, and mental health as well as a natural anti-microbial agent, and balance of the body pH levels plus many more!  Kombucha is an adaptogenic substance that works best as each individual that consumes it needs it to.

Organic Acids like those listed serve many functions in the body.

-Acetic Acid- acts an inhibitor towards the growth of harmful bacteria and is a very powerful preservative.

-Butyric Acid- is produced by the yeasts in the SCOBY, works to protect human cellular membranes and, combined with Gluconic Acid, works to strengthen the walls of the gut to combat yeast infections such as Candida.

-Glucuronic Acid- is product of the oxidation process of glucose. Glucuronic Acid is one of the more significant constituents of Kombucha and is the body’s most important detoxifier. As a detoxifying agent it’s one of the few agents that can cope with pollution from the products of the petroleum industry, including all the plastics, herbicides, pesticides and resins. When toxins enter the liver this acid binds to the toxins, kidnaps the phenols in the liver and flushes them out through the kidneys.  Your intestines or urinary system cannot reabsorb toxins bound by GA.  GA is also a building block for connective tissue, cartilage, stomach lining, vitreous humor of the eye and heparin.  People starting to drink Kombucha show traces of environmental toxins such as lead and mercury in their urine.  Another by-product of Glucuronic acid is the Glucosamines; the structures associated with cartilage, collagen and the fluids which lubricate the joints. It is this function that makes Kombucha so effective against arthritis and other joint problems.

-Gluconic Acid- is produced by the bacteria in the SCOBY and it can break down to Caprylic Acid and is of great benefit to sufferers of yeast infections like Candidiasis and Thrush.

-Lactic Acid- is essential for the digestive system and helps to prevent bowel decay and constipation. This acid also assists in blood circulation Aids in balancing acids and alkaline in the body and believed to help in the prevention of cancer by helping to regulate blood pH levels.

-Malic Acid- is also a detoxifier in the liver.

-Oxalic Acid- is an effective preservative and encourages the intercellular production of energy.

-Usnic Acid- is a natural antibiotic that can be effective against many viruses.

One must follow the omnipotent way of nature; she’s doing something right.  After all nature has been around a lot longer than we have.  The founder of modern medicine, Hippocrates, based his practice with working with the body and the balancing power of nature and utilizing the oldest form of treatment – herbalism.  Ever since the introduction of synthetic chemicals in the pharmaceutical industry and their later dependence on them, the effectiveness of these artificial elements in repairing the human creature has been compromised.  Drugs actually weaken the body. Antibiotics have side effects.  The natural components that our ancestors used must have been used for a reason; because they work.  Now all the medical community is looking for a quick “fix” to what ails us, without really trying to understand how the balance was misplaced to begin with.

Some of the medical community may be skeptical, but what cannot be denied is the sheer numbers: the millions of people throughout history that expound and promote the effects of this almost magical tea.   The qualities that have been claimed of the life-giving elixir are either the truth or the largest, most effective mind/body placebo ever, that will never be equaled.